Quad 988 versus Quad 2805

I am soliciting opinions from owners of both speakers, or individuals that have heard both in the SAME system. The newer version obviously looks more rigid and, in my view, more attractive. However, the difference in price between a used 988 and a new 2805 is very significant. For those who are familiar with both, what, if any, sonically significcant differences exist?
permit me to throw a curve.

i have heard the two speakers at ces and at an audio dealer.

they are "glorified esl 63s" .

why not consider the quad esl ?

i realize that you are asking about the current and recent quads, but i am so disappointed with the sound of both products, that i thought i would make a suggestion.

i also owned esl 63s for over 10 years.
Gmuffley, I don’t mean to hijack your thread but I have a question for Mr. Tennis. I’ve also considered trying the Quads. I’ve auditioned the 2905’s, which I liked very much, but I’ve never heard the 2805’s, 988’s, 989’s, 57’s or 63’s. My thought is to try some rebuilt 57’s. Mr. Tennis, you say the more recent Quads are “glorified esl 63’s”. I equate glorified to mean better, but then you say you’re disappointed with both products. Would you mind clarifying your comment? Also, what about the 57’s? I’m using 2 Music Reference RM10mk11 in mono block.
the 988's, 989's and 2805 are based upon the esl 63. consider the more recent versions of the quad speaker as modified esl 63s. they have greather extension, more dynamic range and they are better braced.

personally, i prefer the spectral balance of the quad 63.

however, having owned quad 57's for about 9 years, i would say they have the least colored midrange of any speaker i have heard.

you are a wise man to consider refurbished quad 57s.

i miss them. my concern with this speaker is the fragility of the panel. be careful of the amp you use, hopefully under 50 watts of tubes. do not play too loud.
I own 988s and 57s. If you speak to the tech guy at Quad UK he says there is no real difference in sound between the 988 and 2805 and they have pretty much the same spec. If you look at reviews / speak to shops they all say the 2805s have a much more solid bass. I heard the 2805s in two shops - the first I thought had a lot more bass and the second I thought was much the same as my 988s, although both listening rooms were too small. My gut instinct is to believe the tech the guy at Quad. Frankly I think a really good pair of 57s is the best (somehow I find the 988s a little boring in comparison), although the 57s take a LOT of TLC and I just couldn't be bothered anymore (even though it is relatively easy for me as I live in the UK)

Hope that helps – I’d be very interested in other peoples opinions in 988 vs 2805 and 57s.
The ELS 63 and its variants have wide dispersion (point-source belay-line design) therefore a wider listening "window" and a slight tendency to "shout" in the midrange.
On the other hand, the ELS 57 has a narrow sweet spot for listening, but Ohmygod, it sounds SOOOO sweet. I agree that it has the cleanest midrange and upper bass I have ever heard.
Deep bass and high treble are subdued, but I do not mind given the magic midrange and upper bass.
Back in the 7os, Mark Levinson (the designer, not the brand) adressed the frequency-response issues with his HQD system: stacked Quads, a large Hartley sub-woofer and Decca ribbon tweeters.
A friend of mine assembled a pair. I believe he has had the same speakers for the past 20 years, he is VERY happy and I am VERY envious.
Anyway, if you can not or do not want to baby-sit ELS-57s, the 988 is a great speaker and has about 70% of the 57 magic. I have not heard the latest Quads.
I hope this helps
I have listened extensively to both speakers and have an order in for a pair of 2805s. Even assuming that they are identical speakers- the 2805s are superior in their framing and bracing. It is like comparing Maagnepans that flop around on their stock stands vs. a pair that is heavily braced. The bass is less smeared- deeper and more solid. Everything sounds faster. I agree you can take a pair of 988 and w/ proper bracing make them sound like 2805s. The pricing scheme is also a little ridiculous in that the 2905- w/ two extra panels costs only 2k more.
I have seen more 2905s for sale (and for longer time periods) than 2805s.
Any possible reason for this? Thanks.
I have had 63s (was editor of the Quad Owners Newsletter with Harvey Rosenburg as publisher) and now have 988s modified to the max by Electrostatic Solutions in Kansas City and with Mye stands installed. There is no question that my version of the 988s is very superior to the 63s that Rosenburg and I used during his Futterman period. The Mye Stands take care of bracing, indeed, they brace the 988s better and with more mass than the one pole brace of the 2905. The latest Electrostatic Solutions power supply board mod brought out even more transparency of the 988s. I am highly satisfied with these speakers. I use with them an Audio Note UK Level 5 system.
I own a pair of ESL57 refurbished by Wayne Picquet of Quads Unlimited, and could not be happier.

They sound amazing within their limitations. It's true the sweet spot is small, but oh so wonderful. For vocals they can't be beat. There is also no reason to have to "babysit" them. They are quite robust, and with Wayne's rebuild you don't have to worry about overloading them. The bass response is also much better than most realize.

While they are fairly large, they are also so transparent that they do have a tendency to "disappear"......
I have 988s modified by Electrostatic Solutions in Kansas City, using all of their Quad mods. My 988s also have Mye stands. They play quite loud without shutting down. They offer very good bass below 40CPS. Overall, with the mods and stands, they are much improved over stock. I also use an REL S5 which only goes to work below 35CPS. The combination is devastatingly good.